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plastic measures

by S. Chen

we are but boxes:
full of sharp angles, all
ankles and wrists, bones
writhing in protest,
pale flesh in dry
heaps, bitter and
thick with longing.

we are but machines:
clockwork hearts and
marionette limbs, parched
throats clicking on empty
air because we have
nothing to say (there
is nothing to say), curling
hands dusty with shame.

but we are not endless:
we have nothing left
to give.


Author's Note: CW, temp title, etc. This needs something but I'm not sure what.

Posted on 10/20/2007
Copyright © 2022 S. Chen

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Gira Bryant on 10/20/07 at 08:47 PM

You said that you're not sure what it needs... the question that I am left with is why there is nothing to say and nothing to give? Perhaps that has something to do with it.

Posted by Aaron Blair on 10/21/07 at 01:13 AM

I'm not sure that I agree with you that it needs something. You'd know better than anyone, but I think it's pretty good the way it is. One little pick-apart, and it is little: the last stanza, even though the "but" fits in with what's already gone before, verbally; conceptually, not so much. If we are but boxes and machines, I think the fact that we are also not endless, while not necessarily going without saying, probably doesn't need a conjunction, either. Other than that, I can't find fault with it.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 02/20/15 at 10:58 AM

I like the first stanza a lot. I think this poem could end there because it speaks volumes all on its own although it could incorporate some of the ideas you have going in the second stanza.

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